View Full Version : 737-400 off runway at Congonhas

23rd Mar 2006, 16:12
A BRA airline 737-400 with 115 pax apparently aquaplaned and skidded off runway 35-L whilst landing 22nd March pm, coming to a stop 3m from a 20m drop to a busy highway. Pax debarked via slides.

First photo shows the aircraft immediately after it stopped on the taxiway, before doors opened. Not enough resolution to be sure but it looks as if what held it from going down the embankment was the nosewheels coming up against the low (±30cm) wall. Second, the view from the road below.



23rd Mar 2006, 16:31
More pictures at this link


Talk about seconds from disaster!

23rd Mar 2006, 22:09
Congonhas is Sao Paulo. It is the (mainly) domestic airport and from what I can remember there is not much room to spare - kind of looks like an aircraft carrier in a sea of buildings. Lucky escape, anyone know what the wx was like at the time (how much rain?)


23rd Mar 2006, 23:27
Yes, a close call. Don't know details for the weather but it had rained heavily, late summer thundershowers. Airline blames the runway surface, airport admin's mum. Late weekday afternoon, busiest airport in Brazil, lots of pressure, fill in the blanks. Yes it's like an aircraft carrier, no overrun either end and lots of spiky bits afterwards. Not ideal but certainly not unique unless you consider the airline's uplifting logo.

24th Mar 2006, 02:04
SBSP 221800 12008KT 9999 BKN025 BKN070 27/20 Q1017=
SBSP 221900 36013KT 9999 BKN023 FEW025TCU BKN070 22/18 Q1018=
SBSP 222000 21003KT 5000 -RA BR BKN015 FEW025TCU BKN070 20/18 Q1018=

atis message reported winds with gusts up to 30 kts though. landing at rwy 35L in CGH has been very tricky since the last 1000 ft is reportedly too slipery and the runway is only 6365 ft/1940 mts long.

24th Mar 2006, 03:27
I was holding short at runway 35L and my co-pilot commented: This guy is too high... And he touched in the middle of the runway. Ok, I have a great respect for this slipery runway, but It was a kind of very long landing...
A week ago I recieved an e-mail alerting about the bad working condicions at this company (BRA), a lot of pilots leaving the company being replaced by unexperienced ones... Poor guys, no training, no invidual acommodation, bad payments, too work and all the blame.

26th Mar 2006, 19:37
I was on a Varig flight that arrived just before that one. Every time I go into that place I count the touch-down marks on the runway as we land. Scarey place and it looks worse when you see it in the flesh. One day.............??



27th Mar 2006, 00:02
Geoffers, take good note of the post immediately prior to yours by an eyewitness who would know. "...too high... middle of the runway...". You will learn to like Congonhas as it's always such a relief to get on the ground. Besides, it seems they'll be reducing to one runway soon for repairs (or perhaps regrooving) to the other one, so many flights will have to be shunted to Guarulhos. :hmm:

BRA are a relatively new low cost/charter airline and having one aircraft out of service would make a big hole. Wonder if any damage requiring more than a few days repairs occurred.

27th Mar 2006, 13:39

No damage to the aircraft so that was quickly back in service. Several runway lights were damaged, but nothing serious and the runway was reopened two hours after the incident.

BRA were quick to blame the airport authorities (poor drainage, low grip when wet) and so Infraero responded with "observations" about the standard of maintenance at the airline. The usual post-incident reactions. The real reasons will come out later (much later !!) and no-one will be interested then.


27th Mar 2006, 22:56
I'm iintrigued by the stop "3 metres" from a "20 metre" drop to the highway in the first post. Looks like about 10 metres from a 4 metre drop. All we need now is "seconds from death plunge" and we've got a budding journo?

28th Mar 2006, 01:17
Not quite, Sailing,

See your point, judging from the photos alone. I've not measured the drop from the taxiway to the highway below, just eyeballed it. But that green strip of grass slopes quite steeply down to the retaining wall, the highway slopes down to the left and I suspect anyone on the flight deck and familiar with CGH could guarantee you that, anywhere along that stretch, the sight of the street coming up their way would be pretty much the same were it ten or twenty metres! :) And I wasn't even considering flight deck height. If you like I'll check it, be there tomorrow and Sunday.

Thanks Alemaobaiano. Must have stopped inches from the wall, very fortunate overall.

28th Mar 2006, 06:43
Point taken. Do you think the crew looked like this :( when it stopped?
You compared the runway to an aircraft carrier earlier, at least a carrier will oblige by steaming into the wind for you! ;)